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Northern Lights
Northern Lights

Showcase Project: Northern Lights Housing

Sector Type

Multifamily

Location

Berlin, New Hampshire

Project Size

71,500 Square Feet

Financial Overview

Project Cost: $750,000

Annual Energy Use

(Source EUI)
Baseline (2016)
63 kBtu/sq. ft.
Expected (2018)
44 kBtu/sq. ft.

Energy Savings:

30%

Annual Energy Cost

Baseline (2016)
$95,400
Expected (2018)
$65,400

Cost Savings:

$30,000
Background

Northern Lights is a 64-unit property for seniors and persons with disabilities funded and operating under the HUD Section 202 Supportive Housing Program for the Elderly. The original structure was a hospital built in 1937, and it was converted to housing in 1981. Northern Lights is owned by AHEAD Inc., a NeighborWorks-chartered nonprofit that develops, owns, and manages affordable housing in northern New Hampshire. Located in far-northern New Hampshire (Climate Zone 1), the Northern Lights property experiences sub-zero-temperature winters and mild summers.

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Solutions

AHEAD Inc. recognized that the property could drastically reduce operating costs through upgrades to heating, building envelope, and common area lighting, which had not been addressed since the property was converted to housing over 35 years ago. The following upgrades are part of the improvements being undertaken from January to July of 2017:

  • Installing LED lighting in all common areas and replacing older T12 fixtures;
  • Replacing the oil furnaces with high efficiency propane boilers;
  • Adding insulation to the roof; and
  • Installing insulation in the basement.
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Other Benefits

The dated fluorescent lighting at the property contributed to a dreary feeling in the common areas. The new LED lighting has already greatly improved the experience for the approximately 65 residents, as well as enhancing the property’s curb appeal. AHEAD expects this will improve occupancy at the property, and anticipates the heating and envelope upgrades will also improve overall resident comfort. AHEAD further plans to reinvest the cost savings achieved through the energy efficiency upgrades back into the property to enhance residents’ experience through other upgrades, such as kitchens, bathrooms, etc., which have not been refurbished since the original property conversion.

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